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      03-09-2014, 05:20 PM   #1
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'14 FIM MotoGP season + Qatar GP (3/23/14)

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Well, here we are again... it is that time of year again to start talking in-season races!

This season should be another good one with Mark Marquez and the Repsol Honda team still a favorite to win. Yes he fractured his leg, but he should be returning very shortly.

Here is the schedule:
http://www.motogp.com/en/calendar+circuits

There's been a lot of news with preseason and testing in Qatar.
Espargaro has been QUICK and looks to have a promising season ahead of him although his brother just broke his collarbone:
http://www.motogp.com/en/news/2014/T...GP+Day3+Report


Here is a good summary of the Qatar testing and classes:
http://www.crash.net/motogp/results/...day-final.html



Up first is the Qatar GP on March 23.




Length: 5.380 m / 3.343 miles
Width: 12m
Left corners: 6
Right corners: 10
Longest straight: 1.068 m / 0.664 miles
Constructed: 2004

Contact Details:
Tel: +974 4472 9151
Email: info@circuitlosail.com
Website: http://www.qmmf.com
Introduction:
The fabulous Losail International Circuit lies on the outskirts of Doha, the capital city of Qatar. Built in little over a year, the track cost $58 million USD and required round-the-clock dedication from almost 1,000 workers in order to get it ready for the inaugural event - the Marlboro Grand Prix of Qatar on the 2nd October 2004.
The track itself is a flowing layout of 5.4 kilometres, surrounded by artificial grass designed to prevent sand from the neighbouring desert from blowing onto the circuit. The main straight is over a kilometre in length and there is a good mix of medium and high-speed corners, including a couple of quick left-handers which has proved particularly popular with the riders.
In 2008 Qatar celebrated the first night time Grand Prix in history, following the construction of permanent outdoor lighting. The switch to night time racing was a success and has continued to be so, with the Qatar event now established as one of the most spectacular on the MotoGP calendar.







Here is how 2013 ended:

1. M. Marquez334
2. J. Lorenzo 330
3. D. Pedrosa 300
4. V. Rossi 237
5. C. Crutchlow188
6. A. Bautista 171
7. S. Bradl 156
8. A. Dovizios 140
9. N. Hayden 126
10. B. Smith 116
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      03-09-2014, 06:21 PM   #2
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2014 Schedule:
23 Mar Qatar Losail
13 Apr America Circuit of the Americas
27 Apr Argentina Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo
4 May Spain Jerez
18 May France Le Mans
1 Jun Italy Mugello
15 Jun Catalonia Circuit de Catalunya
28 Jun Netherlands TT Circuit
13 Jul Germany Sachsenring
10 Aug Indianapolis Indianapolis
17 Aug Czech Republic Brno
31 Aug Great Britain Silverstone Circuit
14 Sep San Marino Misano
28 Sep Aragón Ciudad del Motor de Aragon
12 Oct Japan Motegi
19 Oct Australia Phillip Island
26 Oct Malaysia Sepang
9 Nov Valencia Valencia


Here is a good link that explains some of the 2014 rule&regulation changes:
http://www.redbull.com/us/en/motorsp...nd-regulations
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      03-09-2014, 06:22 PM   #3
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In conjunction with its riders, Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, the factory Ducati squad has made the decision to contest the upcoming MotoGP season on Open class machinery.

The Italian manufacturer had been evaluating the possibility of switching from the Factory class to the new Open class category, which has replaced CRT for the upcoming campaign, at this week's pre-season test in Malaysia.

Initially outlined for privateer entries, those racing under the Open class banner must use specification ECUs and software, but can fit softer tyres, consume an extra four litres of fuel per race and work their way through 12 engines per season, as opposed to five under factory regulations, with flexibility over engine development.

After a successful evaluation of the package at the Sepang circuit, which saw Dovizioso deliver the third quickest time on the final day of the gathering, Ducati has confirmed the Open class as its desired route.

http://www.gpupdate.net/en/motogp-ne...bikes-in-2014/

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      03-09-2014, 07:00 PM   #4
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M4 safety car this year: check out the article on the bimmerpost main page:
http://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=954872
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      03-10-2014, 03:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 954Stealth View Post
After a successful evaluation of the package at the Sepang circuit, which saw Dovizioso deliver the third quickest time on the final day of the gathering, Ducati has confirmed the Open class as its desired route.
And Honda immediately starting whining about the rules.
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      03-10-2014, 03:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
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And Honda immediately starting whining about the rules.

Well they have a valid point.
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      03-10-2014, 04:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Well they have a valid point.
That's highly debatable. As I understand it, Honda are not arguing that Ducati broke any rules, which Dorna confirm. Ducati offered (at their expense) software code for the Open ECU, which immediately became available for use by all other Open teams for free.

Honda are just pissed because they didn't think about the possibility of anyone in Open offering up software code, as the rules didn't forbid it. So, Ducati just out played Honda within the scope of the Open rules, and Honda now want to change the rules because the latest Open Class ECU with Ducati code might make Ducati a competitive bike.

The net effect is that Dorna will probably bend over like a bent whore and change the rules to appease Honda, thus making MotoGP once again the most boring racing in motorcycling.

Had Open Class teams become competitive with Factory teams (which last week's test seemed to indicate) Dorna had the chance to return MotoGP to a more interesting competitive series. Doesn't look like it will happen since Honda is flexing its muscle to try to ensure the rules treat Honda well.

A shame. But, at least we have interesting competition in WSBK.
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      03-10-2014, 08:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italia View Post
That's highly debatable. As I understand it, Honda are not arguing that Ducati broke any rules, which Dorna confirm. Ducati offered (at their expense) software code for the Open ECU, which immediately became available for use by all other Open teams for free.

Honda are just pissed because they didn't think about the possibility of anyone in Open offering up software code, as the rules didn't forbid it. So, Ducati just out played Honda within the scope of the Open rules, and Honda now want to change the rules because the latest Open Class ECU with Ducati code might make Ducati a competitive bike.

The net effect is that Dorna will probably bend over like a bent whore and change the rules to appease Honda, thus making MotoGP once again the most boring racing in motorcycling.

Had Open Class teams become competitive with Factory teams (which last week's test seemed to indicate) Dorna had the chance to return MotoGP to a more interesting competitive series. Doesn't look like it will happen since Honda is flexing its muscle to try to ensure the rules treat Honda well.

A shame. But, at least we have interesting competition in WSBK.
Good points. As someone else quoted on Crash.net....


Quote:
I think it was BS to wait for Ducati to switch to open before changing the rules, but Honda do have some legitimate beef.

They are now in a position where their rival basically has a factory ecu, more fuel than Honda, more engines, and are allowed to develop their engines.

Honda never wanted to have any of those restrictions, I'd be annoyed too if a rival had found a way to get around them.
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      03-10-2014, 11:18 PM   #9
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I'm ready for motogp and F1.
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      03-11-2014, 05:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I'm ready for motogp and F1.
Same here! This is the best time of year in my opinion
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      03-11-2014, 09:57 AM   #11
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Ducati's Desmosedici GP14 livery:



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      03-11-2014, 10:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 954Stealth View Post
Ducati's Desmosedici GP14 livery:



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      03-11-2014, 11:05 AM   #13
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I'm psyched, I can't wait.
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      03-11-2014, 11:55 AM   #14
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Should be a good season. Maybe Rossi can run with the young kids this year. I will be at COTA next month.
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      03-12-2014, 01:41 PM   #15
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Here's some cool shots from the other day





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      03-12-2014, 03:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Should be a good season. Maybe Rossi can run with the young kids this year. I will be at COTA next month.
What hotel rate are you paying and how far from the track is it? Seems like anything close is really high.
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      03-12-2014, 07:06 PM   #17
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the start of this season is bitter sweet for me. sweet because it's almost race time again, bitter because we lost Laguna Seca, which was always a blast to attend. Also, Spies being officially retired sucks too. He didn't make much of a splash in GP, but i think he could have if his body hadn't gotten so thrashed.
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      03-12-2014, 09:39 PM   #18
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the start of this season is bitter sweet for me. sweet because it's almost race time again, bitter because we lost Laguna Seca, which was always a blast to attend. Also, Spies being officially retired sucks too. He didn't make much of a splash in GP, but i think he could have if his body hadn't gotten so thrashed.
Spies had talent for sure, a shame his body couldn't hold up.

I don't expect much talent to come out of the US for a while. Now that the AMA Superbike is dwindled down to sh*t, only 5 rounds this year. Daytona 200 isn't even on television.

I feel for Cameron Beaubier, some people had him maybe going straight to MotoGP. I hope the AMA failure doesn't hurt his progression in the sport. He is on a Yamaha superbike this year with Josh Hayes.
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      03-12-2014, 11:17 PM   #19
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Spies had talent for sure, a shame his body couldn't hold up.

I don't expect much talent to come out of the US for a while. Now that the AMA Superbike is dwindled down to sh*t, only 5 rounds this year. Daytona 200 isn't even on television.

I feel for Cameron Beaubier, some people had him maybe going straight to MotoGP. I hope the AMA failure doesn't hurt his progression in the sport. He is on a Yamaha superbike this year with Josh Hayes.
unfortunately i agree that it's probably going to be a long time until another relevant rider comes out of the USA. DMG has run AMA Superbike into the toilet. 5 races this year, including the Daytona race. fricken terrible
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      03-13-2014, 08:55 AM   #20
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Pedrosa stealing tires:


From MotoGP.com:

At the final gathering of the pre-season, it was NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro who topped the timesheets to conclude an impressive testing period on the Forward Yamaha. However, Bridgestone was pleased with the pace overall.

“The final pre-season test at Qatar was very productive,” explains Masao Azuma, Chief Engineer for the Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department. “Both Bridgestone and the teams were able to collect a lot of data which will serve us well for the opening race of the season in a couple of weeks’ time.

“It was encouraging to see how quick the pace was during this test, both over a single lap and during the race simulations, as this track offers comparatively little grip compared to other venues on the calendar. The best lap time from this test was 0.6 seconds faster than the best race time from 2013 and many riders also had good results in their race simulations as well, so overall I am pleased that our 2014-spec tyres worked well here.

“I would like to thank all the teams and riders for their efforts over the two months of pre-season testing; I feel we are very well prepared for the first race of the season.”

This year’s Grand Prix in Qatar will be the 11th at the desert-based venue, which has featured on the calendar since 2004. It has hosted the season-opener since 2007, which in-turn has taken place under floodlights since 2008.
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      03-13-2014, 09:03 AM   #21
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This is from Crash.net and talks about Factory, Open, 2, etc. If anyone is confused by it this should help clear it up:

Cliff notes:
1. Ducati not happy about Factory 2
2. Ducati moving bikes from Factory to Open. only Honda and Yamaha are still in Factory class
3. Open Class allows more freedom with bike development
4. Honda does not like Open Class
5. Ducati allowing for software freedome in Open Class

Article
Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall'Igna is 'not happy' that a last-minute Factory 2 class is being proposed for Ducati in MotoGP this season. However the Italian accepts that compromise may be needed, even if the Factory 2 race fuel level "is an important performance reduction." Ducati plans to move all of its MotoGP entries from Factory to Open class, allowing greater freedom to develop its machine - which failed to claim a podium last year - in return for running the standard ECU software. But although not stated in the technical rules, some - including Honda - believe the Open class is only for cheaper, less sophisticated machines.

The official reason for the Factory 2 amendment being tabled by Dorna and the FIM is that the other Open teams do not have the capability to use the latest, major software update. This update appears inspired by Ducati's Factory software system - all manufacturers can contribute to Open software development and Ducati's complete switch to the class means they have little reason to hold anything back. However, since Dorna's Magneti Marelli software must be shared by six different MotoGP machines, it will never be exactly the same as Factory electronics, optimised for a single engine/chassis.

Factory 2 - sitting between Factory and Open - would allow Ducati to run this latest software, but see their race fuel drop from 24 to 22.5 litres and engine changes from twelve to nine. The other Open class perks would remain. “The Ducati [Open] decision makes someone not so happy, but this is not our intention. We would like to develop the bike and with the Factory option we simply couldn't do it,” said Dall'Igna, speaking at the Audi Forum in Germany, prior to this evening's unveiling of the 2014 team livery.

“To improve the bike it is important to change the bike and with the Factory option it is not possible to change the engine. Open has the possibility of twelve engines not five, we can develop the engines, we can test at more circuits. So the restrictions are less. “For us the situation is quite clear and the option we choose is quite clear. And for sure this [Open] will be the future of MotoGP, because they have to reduce costs and this solution can help to reduce the costs of MotoGP.”

The Grand Prix Commission - composed of the FIM, Dorna, teams' association IRTA and manufacturers' association MSMA - is due to decide on the Factory 2 proposal tomorrow (Tuesday). “It is really difficult to tell you what will happen. I know like you that the organiser is asking to introduce new Factory 2 rules. This is for sure something against us because the organiser is trying to reduce a little bit the possibilities of Ducati in MotoGP.

“But I have to live in the real world and so I can understand the organiser wants to introduce this rule change, because for sure the small teams cannot work like a Factory team. Like Ducati. And so for respect to the small teams, Dorna would like to introduce this new option, but we will see.

“For sure we are not happy, but we have to accept some compromises in life and I think this is one of these.” While the engine reduction would be unwelcome, it is the fuel limit that could have most impact on Ducati riders Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso. “You have to remember that the [Open] software that the organiser will give to us does not have all the strategies to reduce the fuel consumption. So 22.5 litres is not too much. For sure we have to cut the power, not in all races, but in some races. So for us it is an important performance reduction.”

The Factory class limit is 20 litres of fuel, one litre less than last year. Only Honda and Yamaha now remain in the Factory class, where manufacturers are allowed to develop their own unique software. It has been suggested that Factory 2 fuel and engine limits would only apply once a certain number of podium results have been obtained.
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      03-13-2014, 10:35 AM   #22
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